Sunday, March 25, 2012

From Nagambie to the land of the Fib Dems

The wetlands and billabongs around Nagambie, about 2 hours drive from Melbourne are awash and brimming with life. Australia is in the midst of a La Nina event and much of the landscape in south-eastern Australia is awash in spectacular, peculiarly Australian, ways (see these Wolf spiders for example).   The bird life is spectacular as we found out on a recent week-end in the locality - red-capped robins are particularly appealing.
In contrast England is experiencing a severe drought. There have already been crisis meetings amongst the main agencies and water companies. Fears for the summer are high.
London, striving to be Olympics ready, is pock marked with building activity.  The merchants of Regent St clearly anticipate a retail bonanza as many of the shops are undergoing major makeovers.  My Cockney cabbie preferred Boris to Ken in the mayoral stakes.  The bike riders are thicker than ever but accidents seem closer to hand. Compulsory road tax and insurance for bikers was my cabbie's policy prescription.
The new roof (or vest) at King's Cross Station is spectacular - surely now worth more then 200 Monopoly pounds! Though it was a little cool having our afternoon tea.

Steve Hilton, close friend and advisor to British PM, David Cameron is taking leave of the Civil Service and thus his championing of the 'Big Society' project.  Some reports make it clear that he was frustrated at his inability to push through reforms and public sector intransigence. Others are pleased at his departure!

The headlines upon my arrival seemed to suggest a government that had taken leave of its senses.  Road privatisation was on the agenda - was nothing learnt from the failures of rail privatisation? A two tier pay system was being proposed for civil servants in the north and south - clearly no one had explored the systemic implications of such a policy!  Who will ever vote for the Lib Dems (rebranded Fib Dems) again?

On the other hand the spring flowers were as enchanting as ever and the weather glorious.

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